Showing posts with label history. Show all posts
Showing posts with label history. Show all posts

Sunday, 3 November 2019

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison brings shame on all of us who arrived in the country from 1778 onwards


And Jenna Price* expresses that shame for us all......

The Canberra Times, 25 October 2019:

It's the only night legendary Australian band the Go-Betweens are playing in Sydney and the audience is keyed up. A woman gives a very moving Acknowledgment of Country - you know, the ones which are more than just the nod to elders past, present and emerging. The ones which talk about rivers and sky, kin and skin. It's Wiradjuri woman Yvonne Weldon, chair of the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council, whose ability to hold an audience is epic.


Midway, a bloke in the audience starts heckling. Get a move on, he says, and worse.

"I paused. And then I said, 'This is exactly for you, we are the oldest living cultures of the world'," Weldon remembers.

There was a moment of silence before people started telling him to shush - but in stronger language. Weldon continued. Her aim, she says, was to address a big-mouthed, small-minded person.

Now the Prime Minister is doing his own interrupting, colonising these acknowledgments with his own version. Last Saturday, at a Liberal function at Parliament House, he acknowledged the Ngunnawal people. And then he said: "Can I also acknowledge, as is my habit, anyone who is serving in our defence forces and certainly those who are veterans, and simply say on behalf of a very grateful nation, thank you for your service."

It's his own thing. Six words about the traditional owners and entire sentences about everyone else. He didn't just do it at the Liberal Council. He also did it at the Migration and Settlement Awards and at the Prime Minister's Literary Awards. Morrison has decided to add non-Indigenous people to the acknowledgments without reflecting on what that means and how it diminishes Aboriginal people.
Wurundjeri elder Aunty Joy Murphy-Wandin performs a Welcome to Country and Acknowledgment of Country before a State of Origin game in Melbourne. Picture: Getty Images
Wurundjeri elder Aunty Joy Murphy-Wandin performs
a Welcome to Country and Acknowledgment of Country
beforea State of Origin game in Melbourne. Picture:
Getty Images

Why does this matter? We know we are on Aboriginal land. We know Australia wasn't blank earth when colonised 200 years ago. Since the arrival of Cook and company, Aboriginal people have been raped and murdered, stolen from their families, had their cultural practices and beliefs erased. They earn less, learn less, die early. There is a lot we can do to redress that, but the very least we could do is to acknowledge that we are on Aboriginal land. It's a couple of minutes out of our respective days and might even encourage a tiny bit of reflection on the part of those of us who are listening. It's not a big ask to be part of a ceremony that has its traditions going back thousands of years (yes, yes, they didn't have exactly this before white people arrived, but Aboriginal people had their own ways of welcoming to country). 

In the aeons before, the Welcome to Country was a sign of peace. And it's this which irks D'harawal scholar Gawaian Bodkin-Andrews, a professor at the University of Technology Sydney (I work there too), the most. Bodkin-Andrews, who has researched Welcome to Country controversies, says the Prime Minister has appropriated an act of peace and embedded war. 
Bodkin-Andrews reminds us that Welcome to Countries (delivered by traditional custodians) are about Aboriginal people sharing their histories and their connections to Country. Acknowledgments (given by Aboriginal people who are not custodians of the land or by non-Aboriginal people) should respect this. 

"It's asking for understanding and demonstrating that our arms are open to you. Military personnel can be agents of war and Morrison's comments are warmongering in a symbol of peace. That is ultimately disrespectful." 

It's also puzzling. Why acknowledge that particular category of Australian?

"It's reflective of his mentality and the party he stands for."

NOTES

* Jenna Price, BA (Communications) (NSWIT), MA (UTS), PhD (Sydney), Senior Lecturer, Journalism Program, University of Technology Sydney.


Friday, 10 May 2019

Memo to NSW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole & NSW Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance: Pull you fingers out and fix this!



Sportsman's Creek Bridge (1910) sited close to where the creek meets the Clarence River
Image: GeoLink

The Daily Examiner
, 6 May 2019, p.1:

As he stood on the now dismantled Sportsmans Creek Bridge approaches, Lawrence Museum and Historical Society president Rob Forbes held a series of letters that appalled him.

For the past two years, based on a positive relationship with Roads and Maritime Services, the society had made plans to reconstruct a full section of the bridge, preserving its memory at the museum.

Now, with a change in management, that agreement made has seemingly vanished, with RMS offering a ‘take it or leave it’ approach to what will be preserved.

“I’m appalled to think that a small local historical society trying to save one of the most historic and important structures in Lawrence has to record every single conversation made with every single person we talked to so we don’t get shafted,” Mr Forbes said.

Mr Forbes said for the first stages of planning, the rapport with RMS could not have been better, with RMS employees regularly visiting the museum to see what could be done.

“They couldn’t do enough for us,” he said. “They even organised a license from the EPA so we could take some of the building that was removed for the bridge which had lead paint.

“It carried over when we wanted a section of the bridge. I stood in the museum with the representative and we looked at the model so we were talking about the exact same thing.”

Originally it was agreed two complete ends of one span (both sides of the structure) could be reassembled to create a good representation of the bridge.

“The engineer at the meeting said we could have two complete ends of one span and ‘probably’ also a large amount of the other bridge timbers ‘if we wanted it’,” Mr Forbes said.

After the bridge was demolished recently, and with a change in management at RMS, these verbal agreements made months earlier were disregarded, according to Mr Forbes.

“An email was received stating we could now have only two ends of one truss (one side of the structure only) and 150 square metres of decking – and that this was non-negotiable,” he said.

“We’ve even had emails saying if we had a problem with the quality of the timber they’ll sell the whole lot to salvage... and we feel pressured to sign the new agreement or it’ll best lost forever.

“There was no agreement, but when they said yes for two years, as far as I’m concerned the deal was done.”

A spokesman said RMS had worked with the Lawrence community, including the museum and historical society, throughout the Sportsmans Creek Bridge project.
“Roads and Maritime has provided a replica of the bridge to the society to commemorate this historic structure, along with an agreement to supply timbers from the old bridge for re-use as a commemorative structure,” the spokesman said.

“The agreement includes providing 150sqm of bridge decking timbers to be used as a floor to support the old Ashby ferry, two ends of one truss (each end of one single truss) and supports for display purposes only and transport of the timber and truss to the museum.

“This agreement has not changed and Roads and Maritime will continue to work with the historical society to commemorate the old Sportsmans Creek timber truss bridge.”

The Lawrence Historical Society urges people to show support for the cause by either contacting Mr Forbes on 0412 715 805, or leaving comments on their Facebook page.

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Speaking truth about “the rightness of whiteness”


The Guardian, 3 April 2019:


The Labor senator and Yawuru man Pat Dodson spoke about the links between Australia’s massacre history and the terrorist attacks in Christchurch, while addressing the censure motion against Fraser Anning in the Senate.

The motion condemned Anning for his “inflammatory and divisive comments seeking to attribute blame to victims of a horrific crime and to vilify people on the basis of religion, which do not reflect the opinions of the Australian Senate or the Australian people.”

Dodson said Indigenous people carry the consequence of murderous prejudice “throughout our entwined history”.

 “First Nations’ peoples … know the impacts of murder wilfully carried out and morally justified by hatred of minorities, misplaced power and bullying superiority,” Dodson said.

“In Gurindji country, they talk of the Killing Times.

“Mounted Constable Willshire was stationed at Victoria River Downs in the 1890s. He was a mass murderer in uniform, who took it upon himself to protect the interests of cattlemen by dispersing the traditional owners of the lands at gunpoint.

“He took to print, justifying his actions with boastful pride and emboldened by the rightness of whiteness and condemned the First Nations’ people to death.
“Willshire wrote about the killing on Wave Hill: ‘It’s no use mincing matters. The Martini-Henry carbines at the critical moment were talking English in the silent majesty of these eternal rocks.’”

Dodson said he has walked through some of the sites of mass murder in Australia with descendants of the victims and “sometimes too with the descendants of murderers.”

“In South Australia I visited a monument erected by both sides in the small community of Elliston to commemorate the mass murder of men, women and children pushed over the steep sea cliffs by charging horsemen and barking dogs.
“I have visited the sites of massacres, of mass murders in Balgo, in Forrest River, and at Coniston. Those mass murders took place in living memory.

“I have sat down with old Warlpiri men and women who luckily survived those murderous attacks as young babies, hidden from the attacks.

“1928 was not that long ago. My mother was just seven years old.

“But we are in 2019 now and a mass murderer, rejecting the richness of difference, driven by religious hatred and xenophobia, empowered by military-style weapons, has waged his atrocity in Christchurch,” Dodson said.

“The murder of 50 innocent people does not just happen. It arises from the feeding of hate, irresponsible language and the demonising of people of colour, and difference.
“We know, and senator Anning knows, the real cause of the bloodshed in Christchurch. The real cause was prejudice, hate, and a passion for violent action, aided and abetted by the availability of military-style weapons.

“We call out those who exploit fear and ignorance for political gain: who mock the traditional dress of women of another culture; who seek donations from the manufacturers of weapons of war to override our own laws; who argue that it is “alright to be white”.

“Their values would plunge our country back into the Killing Times.

“We should instead turn our face to the light of a new future, a peaceful, non-violent, tolerant country of hope, respect and unity.

“A country where no innocent man, women or child is ever again the victim of mass murder.”

Saturday, 26 January 2019

Scott Morrison's Captain Cook would be barely recognisable to an historian


This was the Australian Prime Minister and Liberal MP for Cook Scott Morrison in The Australian on 24 September 2018:

“I believe Cook should be revered as one of the most significant figures in our national history,” the Prime Minister said. “He engaged with cultures different from his own but was always prepared to listen and engage. That’s why I believe, for Australians, Cook can be a figure of reconciliation.”

Morrison is still pushing this point in 2019, calling Cook "enlightened".

So let us look at James Cook's instructions from the British Admiralty concerning possible contact with tradtional owners.

You are likewise to observe the Genius, Temper, Disposition and Number of the Natives, if there be any and endeavour by all proper means to cultivate a Friendship and Alliance with them, making them presents of such Trifles as they may Value inviting them to Traffick, and Shewing them every kind of Civility and Regard; taking Care however not to suffer yourself to be surprized by them, but to be always upon your guard against any Accidents. 

You are also with the Consent of the Natives to take Possession of Convenient Situations in the Country in the Name of the King of Great Britain: Or: if you find the Country uninhabited take Possession for his Majesty by setting up Proper Marks and Inscriptions, as first discoverers and possessors.  [my yellow highlighting]

Then examine his interaction with traditional owners, first at Ka-may (Botany Bay) in New South Wales and later at Waalumbaal Birri (Endeavour River) in Queensland.


29 April 1770
Sunday 29th In the PM winds southerly and clear weather with which we stood into the bay and Anchor'd under the South shore about 2 Mile within the entrence in 6 fathoms water, the south point bearing SE     and the north point ^East, Saw as we came in on both points of the bay Several of the natives and afew hutts, Men women and children on the south shore abreast of the Ship to which place I went in the boats in hopes of speaking with them accompaned by Mr Banks Dr Solander and Tupia- as we approached the shore they all made off except two Men who seem'd resolved to oppose our landing - as soon as I saw this I orderd the boats to lay upon their oars in order to speake to them but this was to little purpose for neither us nor Tupia could understand one word they said.   we then threw them some nails beeds &Ca a shore which they took up and seem'd not ill pleased with in so much that I thout that they beckon'd to us to come a shore but in this we were mistaken for as soon as we put the boat in they again came to oppose us    upon which I fired a musket between the two which had no other effect than to make them retire back where bundles of thier darts lay and one of them took up a stone and threw at us which caused my fireing a second Musquet load with small shott and altho' some of the shott struck the man yet it had no other effect than to make him lay hold of a ^Shield or target ^to defend himself    emmediatly after this we landed which we had no sooner done than they throw'd two darts at us  this obliged me to fire a third shott soon after which they both made off, but not in such haste but what we might have taken one, but Mr Banks being of opinion that the darts were poisoned made me cautious how I advanced into the woods - We found here a few Small hutts made of the bark of trees in one of which were four or five small children with whome we left some strings of beeds &Ca    a quantity of darts lay about the hutts these we took away with us - three Canoes lay upon the bea[c]h the worst I think I ever saw   they were about 10 12 or 14 feet long made of one peice of the bark of a tree drawn or tied up at each end and the middle kept open by means of peices of sticks by way of Thwarts —

19 July 1770
Thursday 19th Gentle breezes at SE and fair weather. Employ'd geting every thing in readiness for sea —
In the AM we were viseted by 10 or 11 of the natives   the most of them came from the other side of the harbour River where we saw six or seven more the most of them women and like the men quite naked; those that came on board were very desirous of having some of our turtle and took the liberty to haul two to the gang way to put over the side but being disapointed in it ^this they grew a little troublesome, and was were for throwing every thing overboard they ^could lay their hands upon; as we had no victuals dress'd at this time I offer'd them some bread to eat, which they rejected with scorn as I believe they would have done any thing else excepting turtle - soon after this they all went a shore   Mr Banks my self and five or six more of our people being a shore at the same time, emmediatly upon their landing one of them took a handfull of dry grass and lighted it at a fire we had a shore and before we well know'd what he was going about he made a large circuit round about us and set fire to the grass on the ground in his way which ^and in an Instant burst like wild fire the whole place was in flames, luckily at this time we had hardly any thing ashore besides the forge and a sow with a Litter of young pigs one of which was scorched to death in the fire —
as soon as they had done this they all went to a place where some of our people were washing and where all our nets and a good deal of linnen were laid out to dry, here with the greatest obstinacy they again set fire to the grass which I and some others who were present could not prevent untill I was obliged to fire a musquet load with small shott at one of the rig leaders which sent them off. as we were apprised of this last attempt of theirs we got the fire out before it got head, but the first spread like wild fire ^in the woods and grass.nNotwithstanding my fireing in which one must have been a little hurt because we saw some ^a few drops of blood on some of the linnen he had cross'd gone over, they did not go far from us for we soon after heard their voices in the woods upon which Mr Banks and I and 3 or 4 More went to look for them and very soon met them comeing toward us as they had each 4 or 5 darts a piece and not knowing their intention we seized upon six or seven of the first darts we met with, this alarmed them so much that they all made off and we followd them for near half a Mile and than set down and call'd to them and they stop'd also; after some little unintelligible conversation had pass'd between us they lay down their darts and came to us in a very friendly manner   we now return'd them the darts we had taken from them which reconciled every thing. We now found  there were 4 strangers among them that we had not seen before and these were interduce'd to us by name by the others: the man which we suppos'd to have been wounded struck with small shott was gone off, but he could not be much hurt as he was at a great distance when I fired. They all came along with us abreast of the ship where they stay'd a short time and then went away and soon after set the woods on fire about a Mile and a half and two miles from us —

20 July 1770
Friday 20th Fresh breezes at SE and fair weather. In the PM got every thing on board the Ship, new berth'd her and let her swing with the tide. In the night the Master return'd with the Pinnace and reported that there was no safe passage for the Ship to the northward - At low water in the AM I went and sounded and buoy'd the bar, being now ready to put to sea the first oppertunity — [my yellow highlighting]


Morrison also coveniently forgets that Cook died while attempting to kidnap the 'King of Hawaii'.1

www.captcook-ne.co.uk, Timeline:

When Cook left Hawaii his ships ran into gales which broke a mast, forcing him to return to Kealakekua Bay for repairs on 11th February. This time the native people were less friendly and stole the cutter of the Discovery. The next day, the 14th February 1779, Cook went ashore to take the Hawaiian king into custody pending the return of the cutter but a fight developed and Cook, four of his marines and a number of natives were killed. Cook’s remains were buried at sea in Kealakekua Bay.

The Guardian, 13 July 2004:

The unexpurgated version of the death of Captain Cook, presenting a more realistic version than the familiar heroic scene, has been rediscovered more than 220 years after the deaths of both the explorer and the artist……

A painting of the scene by John Webber, the official voyage artist, and innumerable engravings of it fixed it in legend: it shows Cook with his back to the mob, nobly signalling to his ships to cease firing on men armed only with spears and a few clubs.

However John Clevely's version, based on first-hand accounts and sketches by his brother, a ship's carpenter with the voyage, shows Cook fighting desperately for his life, in the last minute of his life, his shot gone, about to club an islander with the butt of his rifle. Most of the islanders have heavy clubs, and others have picked up rocks. One is about to smash the skull of a fallen sailor and the bodies of several islanders are heaped at the water's edge.

The painting, and three other watercolours also on display, was made in about 1784, but by the time it was engraved and published, only a few years later, the artist was dead and the engraving was altered to match the official version of the story.

"The image of Cook signalling his ships to hold their fire made him a classic humane and heroic figure of the age of enlightenment," said Nicholas Lambourn, an art historian, at Christie's yesterday, where the painting went on public display for the first time.

"Clevely's is less heroic but certainly more accurate."….

Notes on the back of Clevely's watercolours say they are based on his brother's sketches and descriptions of the scene. ….

Footnote
1. See:

Sunday, 4 November 2018

Scott Morrison just can't get his political spin to stick up here on the NSW Northern Rivers


Interim Australian Prime Minister and Liberal Member for Cook Scott Morrison just doesn't know when to keep his mouth shut.

He tweeted what looked like one of his own staff's media releases which had been taken up by the Murdoch media, only to have Byron Shire Council issue a denial of his claim that it had backed down. 


SBS News, 29 October 2018:

Byron Shire mayor Simon Richardson has dismissed the Morrison government’s claim the council has backed down from plans to change the date of its Australia Day festivities.

Immigration minister David Coleman stripped the council of its right to hold citizenship ceremonies in late September as a punishment for “politicising” the day, only to reinstate the right on Monday.

The government claimed Mr Richardson’s council had “reversed” its plan to change Australia Day ceremonies.

But the mayor said the bitter argument with the government was triggered by a “misunderstanding”. Byron Shire will proceed with its plans to move Australia Day speeches and awards to January 25, he said.

“Nothing has changed, from our perspective,” Mr Richardson told SBS News on Monday…..

The council plans to hold a citizenship ceremony in the coming weeks. The events are held semi-regularly throughout the year.


BACKGROUND

North Coast Voices, 26 September 2018:

An est. 5 per cent of the total population of the Northern Rivers are Aboriginal people principally from the BundjalungYaeglGumbaynggirr and Githabul Nations.

They are an integral part of townships and villages spread across seven local government areas and, able to clearly demonstrate cultural connection to country, hold Native Title over land and water in parts of this region.

These families and tribal groupings contribute to the richness of community life in the Northern Rivers.

So Byron Shire Council's media release of 20 September 2018 comes as no surprise.

However, Prime Minister & Liberal MP for Cook Scott Morrison's reaction and the manner in which it was delivered did surprise me. 

SBS News, 24 September 2018:

A NSW mayor says his council's decision to change the date of an Australia Day ceremony is to reflect history after Prime Minister Scott Morrison weighed in.

A NSW mayor whose council won't hold its Australia Day ceremony on January 26 has hit back at Scott Morrison after the prime minister tweeted about the issue.

Byron Shire Council will hold some council events on the national holiday but has announced its official ceremony will move to January 25.....

Friday, 5 October 2018

Yet another Morrison Australia Day argument shot down


This is part of Prime Minister Scott Morrison's weak argument for not changing the
 current date of the national holiday known as Australia Day, which has been something of a movable feast since inception.

Newcastle Herald, 4 October 2018:

"You don't pretend your birthday was on a different day," Prime Minister Scott Morrison passionately reasoned with Sam Armytage on Sunrise last week.

9News, 25 September 2018:

"You can't pretend your birthday isn't your birthday," he said.
"We have a lot more to be proud about than not being proud about. It's a great day to celebrate Australia.

"Australia Day is Australia Day."

It was inevitable that he would be called out on this assertion.



In Qld, Queens Birthday is now in October, used to be in June, but it's actually in April.     Alex McDonnel Oct 3

And what does he think those born on 29th Feb do each year? 

We pretend Jesus was born on 25 December. Hands Off Aunty‏  Oct 3

Morrison is a bit like me. My mouth works before my brain. But then I am not pretending to be prime minister like he is. Dude69‏  Oct 2

BACKGROUND

The Northern Star, 4 October 2018:

BYRON Shire Council's decision to change the date of their Australia Day event from January 26 to the evening before in 2019 has been praised by the National Congress of Australia's First Peoples (Congress).

The decision led to considerable criticism by some, and the Prime Minister Scott Morrison stripped council of its right to hold citizenship ceremonies altogether.

But the congress thanked Byron Shire Council "for its sensitivity toward the feelings by many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander citizens who are uncomfortable about the celebration of Australia Day on 26 January each year”.

The congress is the peak representative body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and members include almost 9000 individuals and 180 organisations from around the country.

In a letter to council dated September 25 CEO Gary Oliver said the move was "an important milestone”.

"It is the local government level that is showing the most leadership on this issue and we urge you to hold firm despite the considerable criticism of your decision on this matter.

"For many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, Australia Day represents oppression and dispossession.....

Saturday, 29 September 2018

Quotes of the Week


“There are some people who seem to find it a very funny circumstance that last week, in full daylight, and in a main street of Cooktown, two black troopers, with their clothes in the same condition as those of a clumsy butcher’s apprentice, fresh from the shambles, exhibited a naked black girl, not twelve years old, as their newly caught prize. This young slave, taken by force . . . has since been transferred, either for payment or as a gift, to a citizen in this town, whose property she has now become. What were the circumstances that attended, or immediately followed, her capture we do not know, nor do we very much care to inquire ...”  [ Journalist & author Carl Feilberg writing in the Cooktown Courier in January 1877 ]


“Adding a new level of fear and uncertainty onto that with the findings coming out of a royal commission is going to harm the community as well as the industry,”  [CEO Clarence Village Ltd Duncan McKimm acting as an apologist for the aged care industry in The Daily Examiner ahead of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety]


Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Prime Minister Scott Morrison favours a romanticised, sanitised version of Australian history


Thus far around 250 sites of massacres which occurred between 1788 and 1930 have been mapped by Newcastle University. This is an ongoing project.

Each dot on the map represents the murder of 6 or more people and one dot in the Northern Rivers region (north-east NSW) represents 100 Aboriginal men, women and children slaughtered in 1843 by 11 mounted stockmen using firearms and swords, supported by sailors on nearby ships. Only two children from the Aboriginal camp were said to have survived.

In another instance in the Northern Rivers one arrogant 'settler' committed wilful murder by giving poisoned flour to unsuspecting local Aboriginals in 1848 resulting in 23 deaths.

This is what the New South Wales section of the massacre map looks like.


Interactive Colonial Fronteirs map of Australia at https://c21ch.newcastle.edu.au/colonialmassacres/map.php

An est. 5 per cent of the total population of the Northern Rivers are Aboriginal people principally from the Bundjalung, Yaegl, Gumbaynggirr and Githabul Nations.

They are an integral part of townships and villages spread across seven local government areas and, able to clearly demonstrate cultural connection to country, hold Native Title over land and water in parts of this region.

These families and tribal groupings contribute to the richness of community life in the Northern Rivers.

So Byron Shire Council's media release of 20 September 2018 comes as no surprise.

However, Prime Minister & Liberal MP for Cook Scott Morrison's reaction and the manner in which it was delivered did surprise me. 

SBS News, 24 September 2018:

A NSW mayor says his council's decision to change the date of an Australia Day ceremony is to reflect history after Prime Minister Scott Morrison weighed in.

A NSW mayor whose council won't hold its Australia Day ceremony on January 26 has hit back at Scott Morrison after the prime minister tweeted about the issue.

Byron Shire Council will hold some council events on the national holiday but has announced its official ceremony will move to January 25.

Mr Morrison on Monday said the "modern Aus nation" began on January 26, 1788 and that was the day to reflect on what the nation had accomplished, become, and still had to achieve.

"Indulgent self-loathing doesn't make Australia stronger," Mr Morrison tweeted on Monday.

"Being honest about the past does."

Byron Mayor Simon Richardson said the celebrations on January 26 caused pain in a section of the community and questioned whether the values of a fair go and mateship were being reflected.

"Is it true mateship to willingly, willfully and continually to celebrate what rightfully is great to be an Australian on a day that some Australians are pained by?" the Greens representative told 3AW on Monday.

He said the prime minister's response was understandable but he found the remark about "modern Australia" interesting.

"I thought we were actually celebrating Australia Day, not 'modern' Australia Day,"

"All we're trying to do is trying to reflect history and acknowledge that Australia began, not with the second wave of settlers, but the first."

Mr Richardson's motion was passed at a council meeting last week.

The current prime minister obviously favours the same distorted version of Australian history as sacked former prime minister & Liberal MP for Warringah, Tony Abbott.

One where the heroic and benign British brought 'civilisation' to these shores.

He can't even get his historical dates right -  26 January 1788 was not "the day the ships turned up". The first of the ships turned up at Botany Bay on Friday 18 January 1788 and the fleet shifted moorings to Sydney Cove on 25 January.

Saturday 26 January 1788 was the day Arthur Phillip formally took possession of the country in the name of King George III. This was the day traditional owners became dispossessed of their lands. By 1790 the killings had begun. Over 200 years later they are still occurring.

Dismissing the history of colonial dispossession and massacre as "a few scars, a few mistakes, a few things you could have done better" is disingenuous.

A responsible adult in the prime minister's office needs to place all Morrison's digital devices under lock and key, as his wide streak of historical ignorance and intolerance is showing in his tweets and photo opportunities.

This obviously has not happened to date, because faced with an inevitable backlash (a good many Australians having a level of maturity Morrison lacks), this dismal prime minister then decided that our collective history should be split into two separate streams:
In his tweets there is no indication that he had met with Aboriginal representative organisations to ask what their wishes might be before making his rather vague announcement.

Morrison has stated an intention to strip Byron Shire Council of its right to hold citizenship ceremonies after the local government moved its Australia Day ceremony forward by a day commencing January 2019.

BACKGROUND

January 2018 - It's Australia Day and......

January 2017 - Australia Day: what's in a date?